Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that provides energy to the body's cells. Produced from the carbs and fats that we eat, cholesterol is extremely essential for the body to work in a proper manner; however, too much cholesterol in the body leads to its build-up in the walls of our arteries and this increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Thus, it becomes essential to lower cholesterol in your daily diet, especially if tests have proved that your levels are too high.
Cholesterol is divided into two parts: LDL and HDL. Low Density Lipoprotein leads to clogged arteries. Today we look at HDL and how good cholesterol foods are important to fight LDL.
HDL or High Density Lipoprotein: To go from point A to point B you need transport. Same applies for the bloodstream, for good cholesterol to be transported you need a carrier, that's HDL.
HDL also acts like a - it reduces and reuses LDL. Hence it is important to lower cholesterol and one way to fight it is through good cholesterol food. Following are food items that will help you boost your good cholesterol level.
- HDL cholesterol normally makes up 20%-30% of your total blood cholesterol.
- There is evidence that HDL helps protect against the accumulation of plaques (fatty deposits) in the walls of coronary arteries.
- Research suggests that a five-point drop in HDL cholesterol is linked to a 25% increase in heart disease risk.
- In prospective studies -- that is, studies that follow participants for a period of time to watch for events like or death from heart disease -- HDL usually proves to be the lipid risk factor most linked to heart disease risk.
- HDL cholesterol levels are thought to be impacted by genetics.
- typically have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men. About a third of men and about a fifth of women have HDL levels below 40 mg/dL. Doctors consider levels of less than 40 mg/dL to be low.
20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise on three four times a week can spike you good cholesterol. Experts suggest that at least 40 minutes to of exercise on a daily basis helps in lowering 5 to 10% of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol can be raised between 3 to 6%. Irrespective of whatever type, intensity and genre of exercise, you go for, it is an essential component of your cholesterol-lowering regimen.
You can raise your HDL levels by discontinuing your habit by almost four points.
Losing four kgs of weight can increase your good cholesterol by one and a half points. Try and keep your BMI 25 or lower than that.
Cut down on saturated and trans fat from your diet every day. These tend to increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. Instead replace them with unsaturated fats - flaxseed oil, olive oil, rice bran oil etc. These oils still have calories so keep their usage in moderation; you don't want to put on calories while raising your HDL.
Avoid foods that are high glycemic foods, like cakes, cookies, processed cereals, white breads etc. They can lower your HDL and raise the levels of another fat in your bloodstream, triglycerides.
We aren't promoting nor are we banning it completely, studies have found that one drink per day for women and two for men can increase good cholesterol levels by four points. For those with addiction problems or liver disease read ahead to get safer HDL increasing tips.
Fibers in our, vegetables, nuts and grains spike good cholesterol levels in our body, so hog on to salads as your mid meal snack. Also a handful of nuts can boost your HDL drastically. Try out vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, carrots, Brussels sprouts, greens, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These veggies have the power to control your LDL. For added benefits, add a wide range of colour to your plate - include greens, orange, and yellow in your diet.
Bananas, pears, apples, avocados, prunes and berries are rich in calcium, antioxidants and fiber, but they can lower your LDL. Among fruit juices, orange juice stands at the top of the list; it's a great way to energise, stay cool and healthy with just a glass.
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These decrease your HDL levels, in addition to all their other potential health dangers.
Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid works as a best therapy for for raising HDL levels.Studies have shown increases of 20 percent to 35 percent. This may have side effects like a racing heart or flushing so its recommended to be taken in small doses in the beginning to minimize these effects
Cranberry juice has been shown to increase HDL levels. Fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can also increase HDL levels. Calcium supplementation can increase good cholesterol in post menopausal women.
The protein present in soybean protects against various heart ailments. Soybean helps in lowering bad cholesterol and simultaneously increases good cholesterol.
An analysis found that soy protein, plus the isoflavones found in soy "raised HDL levels 3%, which could reduce coronary heart disease risk about 5%," says Mark Messina, PhD, a nationally known soy expert.
Fibrous food lowers the absorption of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream. Consumption of oats or oatmeal should be on your diet if you love deep fried food and a good drizzle of oil now and then. Why? Well simply put, oats have a high fiber content that reduces LDL in the blood.
Bacteria present in curds are a treasure trove for enzymes that improve your digestive tract. Plus yogurt contains HDL. However, it is advisable to go for low fat curds.
Now-a-days you can have chocolate in your sandwich, as fondue, as a dip. Make your choice but always settle for dark chocolate. You want to live long and stay ageless!
Popeye the sailor was quite right when crediting his muscle power to this green leafy vegetable. It is believed that spinach contains around 13 flavonoid compounds which keep us away from, heart diseases and osteoporosis. 1/2 cup of this lutein-rich food daily guards us against heart attacks.
Garlic helps lower cholesterol and fights plaque that your arteries.
Compounds present in blueberries are good for your heart. Eating blueberries regularly can sharpen your mind as well as lower bad cholesterol level.
Eat not more than 3-4 garlic cloves each day, to obtain maximum heart benefits.
This vegetable is a great agent for lowering bad cholesterol, because it is a good source of soluble fibre. But avoid frying these, as that would diminish their nutritional properties.
Results may vary from individual to individual, but some studies suggest that drinking green tea early in the morning may fight high cholesterol